According to Google 1 in 5 searches are for a local product or service
With the latest estimates showing that one in five Google searches are for a local product or service, having a web presence for even the smallest business is critical.
Gone are the days when services or tradesmen survived and flourished by word-of-mouth recommendation, instead, the world has turned to the web to answer its every need.
So what does this mean for a small business? Put simply, without an internet presence you will not survive. Potential customers will Google their needs, not see your business and therefore not get in touch.
While a high street presence will garner some trade and the personal touch is still appreciated in business dealings, having a shop front on the internet is the bedrock on which your business is both built and survives.
Don`t let fear of technology put you off – buying a web address and putting together a simple website explaining what you do and showcasing any products is a relatively straightforward job. You can buy kits that guide you through the whole process, or pay someone else to manage the set-up from beginning to end for you.
Whichever way you choose, fairly quickly you should have a rudimentary website, at least, up and running. Be aware that Google can take a while to index new sites and indeed new content on existing sites, so it is always best to put anything you need online up on your web site as quickly as possible so that you can start being visible to people searching out your trade or service.
Given that one in five searches, as we mentioned earlier, are for local products and services, it is important to make sure that your contact details and thus your location, are prominently displayed on the site somewhere. If you`re a plumber in Guildford, you need to have that information on your site, so that anyone searching for a plumber in Guildford gets a hit on your site because it matches their query.
Likewise, if you also cover surrounding areas to your actual location, or have more than one office or shop, make sure all locations are listed to get the best possible results when anyone searches for an area in which you do business.
There are obviously many words on the average web page, so your website package, or web developer if you have outsourced, will give you information about how to tell Google and indeed other search engines, what the most important words are.
This is where SEO (search engine optimisation) and meta data come in, as a means of telling Google and other search engine crawlers what your site is mostly about, through meta data areas and site keywords.
But the most important thing is to get a site, to make sure it is clear on what you sell or offer and then to update it when any of this information changes. Only then will you be harnessing the power of the internet to help your product or service, such as office furniture hire, flourish and survive.